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Old 01-07-2019, 05:17 PM   #1
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2018 19' Flying Cloud
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Using 2 Solar Suitcases

I presently have a Renology 100 watt Solar Suitcase that plugs into my battery. A friend has offered to give me his Renology Solar Suitcase (they both have their own charge controller). My battery box has a Powerwerx plug with two inputs. Is there any downside to plugging in both of these suitcase units with their own charge controller at the same time?

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tjwoods1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 05:47 PM   #2
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This topic seems to have varying opinions. My experience is one controller will stop charging before tho other. This is at a battery level of say 97%, so no big deal. Best to try and see the results yourself.

What is important is that the controllers are not piggy backed to each other and you keep the same wiring lengths and sizes from each controller to the battery.

there's already been a debate going on in some other threads.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2195208
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:40 PM   #3
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'My experience is one controller will stop charging before tho other."

Same here. If it were me, I'd strip the controller box out of one suitcase and wire those panels' outputs directly to the inputs of the other suitcase's controller. That way you only have one controller for all your panels.

A better approach: sell that suitcase to somebody else and just get a couple of [URL="https://amzn.to/2C6D6A7"]100 W Renogy (note spelling) panels [URL="https://amzn.to/2VBtCG4"] and hook 'em up. You'll get the same amount of power for half the cost. If you wanted to, you could alway use piano hinge to connect the two, and make your own solar suitcase. .;-)

The solar suitcases are intended for people who just want a plug-and-play solution, and have no intention of ever upgrading to more panels. From the sound of it, that isn't you.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paprika View Post
'My experience is one controller will stop charging before tho other."

Same here. If it were me, I'd strip the controller box out of one suitcase and wire those panels' outputs directly to the inputs of the other suitcase's controller. That way you only have one controller for all your panels.

A better approach: sell that suitcase to somebody else and just get a couple of [URL="https://amzn.to/2C6D6A7"]100 W Renogy (note spelling) panels [URL="https://amzn.to/2VBtCG4"] and hook 'em up. You'll get the same amount of power for half the cost. If you wanted to, you could alway use piano hinge to connect the two, and make your own solar suitcase. .;-)

The solar suitcases are intended for people who just want a plug-and-play solution, and have no intention of ever upgrading to more panels. From the sound of it, that isn't you.
Joining both panels to one controller can only be done if the single controller can handle the combined output of all the solar panels. If it was set up for a suitcase then it may not be large enought for both sets of panels. You would have to look and see!!

If the controller is a current limiting controller then it will regulate the solar panel current to the maximum power the controller can handle. You wont damage the controller but you'll loose the benefits of the extra panels when the sun is shining bright.

If it is not a current limiting controller, you will damage the controller. I don't know what type of controller it is but is suspect it probably isn't current limiting.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:03 PM   #5
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Good points, Shermy! Without seeing one, I don't know whether the built-in controller on a given solar suitcase can handle 200 watts instead of 100. So I'll go back to my second suggestion, which makes a lot more sense economically: forget the suitcase, and just buy a couple of 100 W panels and a good controller.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:13 PM   #6
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I contacted AM Solar regarding plugging the 2 separate solar suitcases into my battery and they replied, “You will have an overall additive effect of 200W charging that single battery bank.”
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tjwoods1 View Post
I contacted AM Solar regarding plugging the 2 separate solar suitcases into my battery and they replied, “You will have an overall additive effect of 200W charging that single battery bank.”
Yep. Plug them in, drain your batteries to a bulk charge level and record your results. People get convinced there's a problem because of some irregularities when their batteries are in high states of absorption. Fact is. By this time the current going into your battery bank is so small that one array is all that is needed.
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